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Political roundup: Should state legislators be required to disclose conflicts of interest?

Oct 28, 2016

 

Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network teamed up for an investigative report on votes in the Legislature that could easily be seen as self-serving.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

These votes include:

  • The owner of a business that installs septic systems sponsored a bill that would grant emergency waivers from season vehicle weight limits on people who haul around septic systems.

  • The president of a real estate management company sponsoring a bill that would make it more difficult to sue landlords for damages arising from bedbug infestations.

  • A state senator telling a hometown newspaper he could not vote on a bill that came to the Senate floor because it would give his daughter, a judge, a raise. He then turned around and voted “yes” on the same bill when it returned to the Senate.

According to the report, the Center for Public Integrity ranks Michigan dead last in the nation in regulating legislative conflicts of interest.

This is not new.

In our conversation above, Susan Demas and Ken Sikkema discuss the report and ethical problems within the legislature.

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